WITH matters of the heart very much in the minds of people today as couples celebrate Valentine's Day a cardiology consultant at Wycombe Hospital has talked about the great work Scannappeal are doing to keep Bucks hearts healthy.

Soroosh Firoozan helps thousands of heart patients a year and has worked at Wycombe Hospital for 14 years.

He has been involved with Scannappeal for four years and is passionate about the work they do.

Scannappeal has been raising funds in the area since 1987 to provide the very latest technology and equipment for hospitals in the Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

The equipment is not limited to scanners and includes other major purchases that help clinicians give the best possible care available.

Soroosh is currently pushing The Laser Heart Appeal which wants to raise £100,000 to help radically improve diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. There are two aspects to the appeal- one is for The Illumien System.

Soroosh said: "It is an amazing piece of kit which is called optical coherence tomography.

"It is a very clever thing."

The machine allows the cardiologist to put a wire in the coronary artery which is the size of a hair and has a light on the end.

It can work out the severity of the blockage. Cardiologists like to treat a growing number of patients with heart attacks with stents and they need to place the stents as close to the artery wall as possible as there cannot be any spaces.

If there is a gap blood can get into that space and can clot, and the patient will have a heart attack. But with the laser you can work out if there is a gap, which can then be adjusted.

Soroosh said: "It is a time consuming investigation and does not apply to every patient. Where it does, there is a safer and a better outcome." The second part of the appeal is for an ECG system called Muse.

It store ECGs and cardiac tests and patient data can be accessed by experts at the touch of a button. Using this mobile technology ambulance crews can relay a patient's ECG in advance of their arrival at hospital which allows instant expert help.

Soroosh, 51 from Oxford, said Scannappeal has provided so much for heart patients in Bucks already.

It will be exactly two years since it supplied the first 3D heart scanner in the UK to Wycombe.

He said: "It is the icing on the cake. The basic stuff we will always be able to force our clinical management group to put the money in.

"But if you want bells and whistles they will say no, perfectly reasonably, as there isn't a lot of money in the pot.

"We are very fortunate to have an organisation dedicated to providing equipment for local patients in Bucks to receive good care."

For more details about the appeal go to www.scannappeal.org.uk or call 01494 734161.